Becoming the chairman of Hereford Round Table is a great honour and is a role that I never expected to be asked to undertake when I first joined four years ago. I didn’t know many of our members back then and it has been said that I was very quiet and unassuming for the first six months. Four years on and I have made a group of firm friends who I am sure will remain so for many years to come who wish I was a bit quieter now!
It is also a role that comes with some expectation and as I look back at what is one of our most successful years ever, I have to confess that I am filled with nerves and excitement in equal measure. Our out-going Chairman, Will Jackson, has always worked tirelessly for Round Table and during his tenure we have managed to donate over £31,000 to local good causes. We’ve raised money through a very successful ‘Best of Herefordshire’ Summer Ball at Burton Court, our annual fireworks display and another sponsored trip to foreign shores following our trip to France in 2014; this time to Amsterdam. This has all, in no small part, been down to the huge effort that Will puts in and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him personally. He has also left me some very big shoes to fill!
So what do the coming 12 months hold? I have asked Jamie Crawford to be my Vice-Chairman and hopefully we will both be able to continue the good work that Hereford Round Table does. By the time you read this we will have enjoyed our Hand-Over Dinner at The Priory Hotel at Stretton Sugwas and will be looking forward to our Annual Summer Ball on 2nd July. This year we are being hosted by Broadfield Court and our theme is a Shakespearian one to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. Hopefully the weather will be kind and we will have a Midsummer Night’s Ball to enjoy.
We also have our annual fireworks display to look forward to again – actually on 5th November. This year also marks a special anniversary as far as Hereford Round Table and fireworks are concerned; 40 years since the first display in 1976. I am reliably informed that Round Table stopped the traffic back then and our intention is to mark the occasion with something special again. Whether we stop the traffic remains to be seen , but I hope that it will be an event that lives long in the memory for many years to come.
As well as our two main fundraisers of the year we also have a wide and diverse range of programme events to look forward to. These are an integral part of what Round Table is all about. They are important to foster the friendships that I mentioned earlier and, in turn, the camaraderie that is so important to our fundraising efforts. I am convinced that the events that are arranged for Hereford Round Table every two weeks are a contributory factor to our healthy and growing membership.
Whilst admitting to a degree of nervousness, I am also very excited about becoming Chairman and looking forward to a year that will offer up many challenges and memories when I look back in 12 months time. The current Round Table strap line is ‘Do More’ and in the four years that I have been a Tabler we have done just that. Long may it continue!
Andy Banks, Chairman
Below: Round Table members and their partners and guests enjoying a wonderful evening at the Handover meal at The Priory Hotel Hereford.